SOUTHWICK, Mass. (WWLP) – Every other month, students in the culinary program at Westfield Technical Academy show off their cooking skills by making a meal for seniors at the Southwick Senior Center.
“As soon as they get in front of folks, they always seem to shine and elevate their performance. They are so good at how they conduct themselves and use culinary terms,” Culinary Arts Instructor Eric Rogers said.
“We watch. We get the instructions on how to make the food. Then afterward, they have us taste it, and we have a little meal at the table,” said Sandy McGann. “We have the main course and the dessert.”
On the menu Tuesday was Cajun chicken and pasta, and European almond macaroons.
Chef Rogers said the students learn more than just cooking skills during the presentation.
“They need to have a personality,” Rogers explained. “They need to know how to talk to people in the public.”
The program, which is run almost like a cooking show, is now in its seventh year bringing generations together to enjoy a meal.
“We hear, ‘hey we made that before, and this is how we do it.’ So, that gives me ideas, it gives them ideas,” Rogers said. “It just creates a lot of dialogue with everybody, and turns into a very nice event.”
“They do very very good,” McGann said. “The kids are wonderful, the chef is fantastic. We enjoy it.”